The Philosophy of Innovation in Management Education: a Study Utilising Aristotle’s Concept of Phronesis


While much has been written on phronesis, there is a dearth of empirical work on the how the concept can be developed and implemented in practice, particularly in an educational setting. To address this problem, characteristics of phronesis were identified through a review of current literature and an examination of related themes from a special issue of the Philosophy of Management Journal on the philosophy of innovation. The implementation of the concept was investigated using an illustrative study of ongoing work aimed at embedding phronesis in an innovation educational module. The study will contribute to the nascent debate by providing evidence of embedding Aristotle’s phronesis in the curriculum of future managers, in this case Engineering and Business students, working in cross-functional teams. A schema is proposed, based on concepts distilled from the literature and the illustrative study, to examine whether an educational project cultivates phronesis among the students.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    While the quotation uses phronimos as masculine, it goes without saying that the term equally applies to the feminine.


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I wish to acknowledge the contribution and expertise of my colleague Ivan McPhillips, School of Business, GMIT to the development of this work.

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Correspondence to Gabriel J. Costello.

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Costello, G.J. The Philosophy of Innovation in Management Education: a Study Utilising Aristotle’s Concept of Phronesis. Philosophy of Management 18, 215–230 (2019).

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  • Phronesis
  • Aristotle
  • Teaching of innovation
  • Philosophy of innovation
  • Responsible innovation